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Posting policemen outside state of origin unproductive – Falana

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Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), says the practice of posting policemen outside their states of origin is unproductive.

Falana said every police officer should operate in their community, speak the local language and mix freely with the people.

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The activist said this at the Maiden Memorial Public Lecture in memory of Late Professor Olumuyiwa Awe in Ibadan, according to a statement on Monday.

The senior advocate said, “The success of the civilian Joint Task Force in the counter-insurgency operations in Borno state has proved that the best way to police a country is to recruit, train and equip young men and women to operate in their own communities.

“The colonial practice of posting police personnel to operate outside their states of origin was meant to suppress and intimidate colonial subjects by strangers. It is a practice which has become counter-productive in a post-colonial state. Every police officer should operate in their community, speak the local language and mix freely with the people.”

Falana said state police remained the best option as regards tackling insecurity in the country.

He noted that the fears expressed by a cross-section of Nigerians that state governments could abuse state police were not misplaced.

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The senior advocate, however, stated that there was a way of insulating state police from arbitrary abuse.

The activist stated, “To avoid a situation whereby abuse of police powers is decentralised any security service established by state governments should be democratically controlled.

“The service will be founded by the state governments and superintended by an independent state police council of five members. The members of the council should be accredited representatives of the state government, labour, women, youths and the business community.

“The service will police the state and see to the enforcement of all the laws enacted by the House of Assembly.”

Falana said the All Progressives Congress had also expressed support for state police in the past.

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He said state police would be a positive step in the task to enthrone federalism.

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